REVIEWS

Accounting for Taste

Although NEXTSTEP sports several single-user finance and accounting programs, Sumeris Technology has produced the first multiuser client-server accounting package for the platform. QuantaFlow provides true double-entry accounting and will satisfy many needs of medium-sized businesses. Unfortunately, it lacks a few critical features, such as inventory control.

There are two parts to Quanta-Flow: QuantaFlow, the client software, and QuantaAdmin, the database server. QuantaAdmin provides the arena in which QuantaFlow does its work; here, you define an accounting database company information, fiscal year, and accounting periods. Access privileges for accounting data and administrative features of the server are also maintained here.

QuantaFlow is the actual accounting environment. Sumeris took some interesting approaches to organizing and displaying information that may seem confusing, but the interface becomes intuitive over time.

Conforming to the standard practice in accounting software, QuantaFlow revolves around the Chart of Accounts. There are four types: General, Accounts Receivable (AR), Accounts Payable (AP), and Other. Accounts are organized into groups and assigned one of six categories. Unlike other accounting systems, which record customer and vendor records with separate journals that post to general-ledger accounts, Sumeris chose to make these accounts subsidiary to their respective AR and AP general-ledger accounts.

Posting to specific revenue or expense accounts is handled at the time of the transaction entry. Data entry takes place in a series of transaction windows that follow a standard layout, making it easy to bounce from one type to another without missing a beat.

Once the data is in, it's easy to get back out with included reports that follow standard formats for income statements and balance sheets. Specific journals for customers or vendors, as well as general-ledger accounts, can also be printed in concise, easy-to-read formats.

With its impressive features and innovative approach, QuantaFlow is a solid accounting package for small- to medium-sized businesses. If you are in the business of providing accounting services, QuantaFlow will serve you well with its options for multiuser and multicompany usage.

Version 1.1, however, does have some flaws. Data entry is post-transaction. Unlike Peachtree's Insight Accounting or GreatPlains' Accounting, both for the Macintosh, there are no invoice-entry windows that allow for direct invoicing. Payroll and inventory provisions are also missing. The bottom line is that QuantaFlow is not yet a complete solution for the everyday accounting needs of most busi- nesses. For now, the package will meet the needs of companies that require post-transaction data entry and handle tasks like inventory and payroll manually. If you are seeking an integrated solution, you may prefer to wait for QuantaFlow to expand its functionality in future releases.

by Donald Wilson


QuantaFlow 1.1

2 & 1/2 Cubes

A solid client-server-based double-entry accounting system for smaller businesses. Its innovative approach to computerized accounting is a win in the long term but lacks certain important features.

$750

Sumeris Technology, 7310 Cactus Curve, Chanhassen, MN 55317.

612/474-6505.